Sunday, February 9, 2014

2014 LLTH Results & Race Recap

The 2014 race results are in.

Some excellent photos have been posted by Shawn Snapp & Terry Fletcher w/SPORTZbizz.  Terry is offering FREE full size downloads of his photos -- prints are available at a nominal fee.  Links to videos have also been posted here

With the devastating ice storm early in the week, this race could have easily have been postponed or cancelled.  With the gritty determination of Cynthia Heady with Headfirst Performance & the Forest Service, the 11th running of LLTH is now history. 
 Photo courtesy of Terry Fletcher w/SPORTZbizz:

This 26" tree fell across the trail in 2 places & was just one of the larger obstacles that were cleared only days before the race:

Those who braved the conditions were rewarded with a most memorable experience.  First words out of most runners mouths was how beautiful the scenery was.  The ice coated trees & snowy hillsides made for stunning views thruout the course.
 Cynthia Heady w/pre-race instructions:

Photo courtesy of Terry Fletcher w/SPORTZbizz:


The race began under cloudy skies with a temp near 20 degrees.  It would remain cloudy & in the 20's all day.  Winds were calm in the morning with a very light breeze later in the day.  There were a few light snow showers thruout the afternoon.  
 Photo courtesy of Terry Fletcher w/SPORTZbizz:            
                                     a cold day:
 course conditions:

There was a lot of ducking, weaving & climbing intermixed with the running on the entire course.  The 1st section had the most obstacles.  At times runners had to deal with near continuous ice laden branches & trees overhanging the trails.  It was difficult to get into a running rhythm.  Backups were not uncommon.


Getting traction in the powdery snow was an issue for most.  Only areas easily accessible to the public during the week around the Welcome Center & the 1st part of the Siltstone Trail were packed down fairly solid.  There was ice on the course, but was limited to the start & end of the 1st section of the course.  You could hardly tell there was a gravel road beneath the thick layer of ice.

In going ahead with this race with so many adverse conditions, there were understandably a few issues.  Hopefully these will not come up again:

2nd section:  When entering Yost, there are no turns required to begin the loop section.  The trail keeps straight & you begin the loop by keeping straight.  There were no flags or signs to indicate a left turn, yet apparently there was confusion & some runners turned left running the small 1.25 mile counter-clockwise loop in a clockwise direction (resulting in confusion for others).  This wasn't a critical error since the net elevation change & distance were the same in either direction.

The aid station at Bearcamp Rd became unattended & the spigots on the coolers froze.

The port-o-potties did not make it to the start location.  The park road was snowy & icy during the week & was closed for extended periods Thursday & Friday so trees could be removed along the road & power restored to the Horine Center.  One potty was eventually delivered too late & then dropped off a 1/4 mile from where it was needed.  I would guess that the icy parking lot at the Scott's Gap aid station was the story there.


Many runners chalked up a personal worst for their respective distances.  The winning finish times were the slowest in the history of LLTH, yet they were quite impressive considering the conditions this day.

                2014 winners                                2013 winners  
Avery Collins       5:13:26                 Scott Breeden      4:07:38
Michelle Bichsel  6:56:13                 Andrea Ring         6:11:37

Samuel Morgan   2:24:36                  Ryan Althaus       1:53:55 

Ashley Ruberg    2:37:52                  Rebecca  Boyle    2:07:53

Gerry Emerson       58:05                 Daniel Blandford     40:39
Alicia Heyne       1:02:53                  Rella Faye Harmon 52:58 


 6 mile winners:

Photos courtesy of Terry Fletcher w/SPORTZbizz:


15m winners:

50k winners: 

Congrats & Thanks to all runners who made 2014 LLTH a BIG success this year!  Thanks also to the Headfirst Performance crew & all the volunteers.  Special thanks to Cynthia Heady who made this race happen & once again provided some great homemade soups for everyone!

If anyone has pictures they wish to share with others, post your link or send it to  Also, you can send any name spelling or results corrections to the same address.  Thanks.  



Anonymous said...

Never Again! Unorganized and someone could have easily been seriously hurt or worse. Your "medical stations" were not medical stations.

Anonymous said...

It's not for everyone friend!

Anonymous said...

Given the weather this week I was happy to see the trails in as good of condition as they were. A big thank you to those who got out there, cleared the trails, worked the aid stations, and helped organize the event.
I did take some photos, you can find them on my website.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with the above posters comments. I thought it was well organized and a ton of fun. The snow and ice were part of the challenge. Can't wait for next year.

Anonymous said...

Hardest 16 miles I have ever ran but loved every minute of it. The snow and ice made the course tough but beautiful. Hats off to all the helpers who stood in the cold and were super nice at each of the aid stations!! I will be back next year.

Jerry said...


Great recap. 2014 LLTH 50k is my favorite so far. Beautiful day to be on the trails. I love the part of video where Rhonda is running with you and says, "Hey Ed! What are you doing? You got your shirt on!" Awesome!

Steven Smith said...

Great challenge mentally and physically.A big thank you to the volunteers.The hot chocolate at scotts gap mmmm good!!See ya next year.

Anonymous said...

We had a blast. First time running a race entirely in snow. I applaud the decision to go ahead with the race. It was gorgeous, and the people were fantastic!

God willing, we'll run this race again.

David Aguiar said...

Amazing race. Very well organized and extremely fun. Not to omit, this is one of the toughest 50k's out there! Completely dissagree with one of the comments above. Lots of support for a trail race and impressed with the after race meal! Awesome job!

Anonymous said...

The race was amazing and the woods were beautiful. The course was in great condition thank you JMF team. Thank you to all the volunteers it was very cold if you weren't running. JMF has difficult trails and the snow wearing on the legs and dogging the ice covered branches added to the challenge. I will be back.

Glenn Kasper said...

Disagree also with first couple of posts. Every trail race has it's scary spots. Yes the unmanned station is problematic but easily fixed. Great race! Had a blast.